NEW YORK, March 16, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Brands that give us comfort and provide value are driving an overall improvement in consumer sentiment according to the 2011 Harris Poll EquiTrend® study conducted by Harris Interactive. Target Stores, Nintendo and M&Ms Plain Chocolate Candy were each highest ranked in their respective category. The 2011 Harris Poll EquiTrend® Brand of the Year was awarded to the highest ranked brand in each of 46 categories.
Overall, consumer sentiment toward brands increased for the second straight year after falling in 2009. While the Sweet Treat category boasts several top brands, the Financial Services category shows a wide gap between brands that have maintained or improved their brand equity and those brands that consumers still hold responsible for the country's financial collapse. Visa and USAA are two financial service brands which consumers still hold in high regard. The Harris Poll EquiTrend® study measures consumer brands within 46 different categories. Brand Equity ratings are driven by three factors: Familiarity, Quality and Purchase Consideration.
"As consumers continue to look for ways to reduce their budgets, having a brand that consumers trust and respect plays a large role in keeping consumers loyal," said Jeni Lee Chapman, Executive Vice President for Brand Research at Harris Interactive. "Consumers continue to be more selective about what they purchase, but those companies with high brand equity are able to avoid switching behaviors of those brands that lack brand equity."
- Automotive: Ford vehicles rank highest among full-line automotive brands, Toyota falls to 4th; Mercedes-Benz is the highest ranked luxury automotive brand;
- Airlines: Southwest ranks highest among airlines followed by Jet Blue. A newcomer to the study, Hawaiian Airlines rounds out the top three;
- Beer: Blue Moon is the highest ranked beer brand followed by Samuel Adams, with Guinness Stout at third;
- Retail Banks: New to EquiTrend® is BBVA which ranks highest among banks. Huntington Bank followed by TD Bank round out the top three;
- Hotels: The Hilton brand enjoys highest rankings in two categories ; full service hotels with Hilton Hotels and Resorts and extended stay hotel with Homewood Suites by Hilton;
- Financial Services: The Principal is the highest ranked investment services brand followed by TIAA-CREF and Fidelity; USAA is the highest ranked insurance brand followed by State Farm and Conseco. Visa is the highest ranked payment cards brand followed by MasterCard;
- Restaurants: Panera Bread ranks highest among casual restaurants, with Carrabba's in second after big brand equity gains; Olive Garden falls to third. Subway is the highest ranked quick service restaurant followed by Dairy Queen;
- Telecom: Verizon is the highest ranked mobile network followed by AT&T and Clearwire; Motorola was the highest ranked mobile phone brand; and
- Non-Profits: Best Friends Animal Society is highest ranked among the non-profits followed by Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Shriners Hospitals for Children and St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
Harris Poll EquiTrend® Brands of the Year
Brand of the Year
Appliance - Major Appliance
KitchenAid Major Appliances
Appliance - Small Kitchen appliance
KitchenAid Small Appliances
New Balance Athletic Footwear
Automotive Service Centers
Michelin Automobile Tires
Automotive, Full Line
Bobbi Brown Cosmetics
Norwegian Cruise Line
Nintendo Video Game Systems (Wii, DS series)
Hallmark Greeting Cards
Blue Cross Blue Shield
Red Roof Inns
Homewood Suites by Hilton
Hilton Hotels and Resorts
Omni Hotels & Resorts
Holiday Inn Hotels & Resorts
USAA Financial Services
Tide Liquid Laundry Detergent
National Geographic Magazine
Brand of the Year
Media Television-Kids TV
PBS KIDS Sprout
Media Television-Topical interest
Media Television-TV News
The Weather Channel
Media Television-Variety TV Programming
Pennzoil Motor Oil
Harley Davidson Motorcycles
DreamWorks Movie Studio
Associated Press (AP)
Best Friends Animal Society
Nova SouthEastern University
Imodium Anti-Diarrhea Medication (J&J)
Johnson & Johnson Healthcare
Restaurants - Casual Dining
Restaurants Quick Service (including Pizza)
BBVA Compass Bank
M&M Plain Chocolate Candy
The EquiTrend® study evaluates measures including: Equity, Consumer Connection, Commitment, Brand Behavior, Brand Advocacy, and Trust. The keystone to the program is Equity, which provides an understanding of a brand's overall strength and is determined by a calculation of Familiarity, Quality, and Purchase Consideration.
This year's Harris Poll EquiTrend® study was conducted online among 25,099 U.S. consumers ages 15 and over between January 11 and 27, 2011. A total of brands 1,273 were rated in 53 separate categories. Each respondent was asked to rate a total of 60 randomly selected brands. Each brand received approximately 1,000 ratings. Data were weighted to be representative of the entire U.S. population of consumers ages 15 and over on the basis of age sex, education, race/ethnicity, region, and income, and data from respondents ages 18 and over were also weighted for their propensity to be online.
These statements conform to the principles of disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.
The EquiTrend® study results disclosed in this release may not be used for advertising, marketing or promotional purposes without the prior written consent of Harris Interactive.
Product and brand names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.
For a complete listing of all the brands covered in the study, contact Dagney Cassella at 212-539-9600 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Harris Interactive
Harris Interactive is one of the world's leading custom market research firms, leveraging research, technology, and business acumen to transform relevant insight into actionable foresight. Known widely for the Harris Poll and for pioneering innovative research methodologies, Harris offers expertise in a wide range of industries including healthcare, technology, public affairs, energy, telecommunications, financial services, insurance, media, retail, restaurant, and consumer package goods. Serving clients in over 215 countries and territories through our North American, European, and Asian offices and a network of independent market research firms, Harris specializes in delivering research solutions that help us – and our clients – stay ahead of what's next. For more information, please visit www.harrisinteractive.com.
SOURCE Harris Interactive